Jesse Lee Kercheval
|Jesse Lee Kercheval|
|Occupation||Writer and teacher|
|Genres||textbook, novel, nonfiction, poetry, memoir|
|Notable work(s)||The Museum of Happiness, The Dogeater, Space, The Alice Stories|
Jesse Lee Kercheval is a poet, memoirist, translator and fiction writer. She is a professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of numerous books, notably Building Fiction, The Museum of Happiness, and The Dogeater.
Kercheval was born in Fontainebleau, France. Raised in Cocoa, Florida, she attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. She studied with Janet Burroway, David Kirby, and Jerome Stern there. She received her Bachelor of Arts in History at the university in 1983.
Since 1987, she has taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She was the founding director of the Master of Fine Arts Program in Creative Writing. She is currently the director of the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing and is the Zona Gale Professor of English. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Dan, their two children, Max and Magda, and a rat terrier.
- The Dogeater (1987) (ISBN 0826206328)
- The Museum of Happiness (1993) (ISBN 057119821X)
- Building Fiction: How To Develop Plot and Structure (1997) (ISBN 1884910289)
- Space: A Memoir (1998) (ISBN 1565121465)
- World as Dictionary (1999) (ISBN 0887482856)
- Dog Angel (2004) (ISBN 0822958406)
- Chartreuse (2005) (ISBN 0975257390)
- Film History as Train Wreck (2006)
- The Alice Stories (2007) (ISBN 9780803211353 )
- Cinema Muto (2009) (ISBN 9780809328956)
- Brazil (2010) (ISBN 9781880834862)
- My Life as a Silent Movie (2013) (ISBN 9780253010247)
Kercheval's first published book was a collection of short stories named The Dogeater. The stories include The Dogeater, Underground Women, Willy, A Clean House, Tertiary Care, La Mort au Moyen Age, The History of the Church in America, and A History of Indiana. It is now out of print.
Underground Women was expanded into Kercheval's later novel, The Museum of Happiness. Kercheval got the idea for Underground Women after seeing a woman collapse in a launderette during a trip to Paris.
The The Museum of Happiness is a story about a young widow and a half-Alsatian, half-German carnival worker as they fall in love in a 1929 Paris. A German translation was published by Wilhelm Heyne Verlag in 1997. It was reissued by the University of Wisconsin Press.
The Alice Stories is about a girl called Alice and her family. She falls in love with Anders Dahl, a Norwegian farmer. Then, their child Maude was born. The novel goes through her life and her biggest challenges.
The writing textbook Building Fiction:How to Develop Plot and Structure was published in 1997, by Story Press, and reissued by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Press. It discusses sources for fiction, openings, points-of-view, characters and endings. It also discusses novels, novellas, novels-in-stories and short stories.
Poetry and chapbooks
Kercheval has published three collections of poetry. The first was World as Dictionary, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. The second, Dog Angel, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. The third, Cinema Muto was published by Southern Illinois University Press and is about the age of silent films. She is also the author of two chapbooks: Chartreuse, published by Hollyridge Press, and Film History as a Train Wreck published by the Center for Book Arts in New York.
Kercheval also composed a one-page short short story, Carpathia. Published in Chapter 11 of her textbook Building Fiction. It is the story of two passengers on board the Carpathia, the ship that rescued passengers from the Titanic.
Her memoir, Space, won the Alex Award from the American Library Association. The Dogeater won the Associated Writing Programs Award 1986 in Short Fiction. The Alice Stories won the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize. Her novella, Brazil, was the winner of the Ruthanne Wiley Memorial Novella Contest. David Wojahn selected her poetry collection Cinema Muto for the Crab Orchard Open Selection Award. The Center for Book Arts Poetry Chapbook Prize 2006 was also won by her chapbook, Film History as a Train Wreck, by Albert Goldbarth.
- "Amazon.com: Biography - Kercheval, Jesse Lee (1956-): An article from: Contemporary Authors Online: Gale Reference Team: Books". Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- List of Fiction Books by Jesse Lee Kercheval
- Jesse Lee Kercheval, Building Fiction, P.9
- American Library Association, 1999 Alex Awards
- AWP Award Series Winners 1975-1999
- Jesse Lee Kercheval's Biography
- University of Nebraska Press, the Alice Stories
- Poetry Chapbook Winners, Center for Book Arts